URLs du Jour

2018-12-08

[Amazon Link]

  • At the Federalist, Jesse Kelly explains Why The Right Should Start Taking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Seriously. He's talking to me, I think.

    Do not underestimate this woman, and do not think your savage mockery of her stupidity will be an effective tool to stop her. It won’t. It will instead be personalized by her supporters, creating an army that will lay down and die for her (or at least vote for her), just like the army Trump has. You should be afraid of Ocasio-Cortez. Be much more afraid than you are.

    Through thick and thin, up and down, one thing about elections in America has never changed: you cannot win them without non-political people. It is the undecided masses who decide elections. They do not watch YouTube videos of Milton Friedman breaking down economics, and they’re unimpressed that you graduated summa cum laude. They may only glance at the nightly news for a few minutes, but they will get on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    So: point out when she says stupid, false, and/or hypocritical things, but for goodness' sake, don't make fun of her.

    But…


  • Jonah Goldberg's G-File this week is a slight pun: Climate Change Frenzy Clouds Our Judgment.

    So, as often happens, a weasel crawls up your tailpipe (I mean of your car, sicko). It then gets caught in the doohickey connecting the thing to thing that goes mmmm-chicka. And now your car is busted. The mechanic says it will cost $5,000 to de-weasel your diesel engine.

    But you don’t have five grand lying around. So what do you do?

    Obviously, you ask the mechanic how to raise $5,000. I mean, he’s an expert on how to fix your car, he must also be an expert on how to pay for it. Right?

    You see the analogy, I assume. Except the analogy is flawed: because you really should imagine the mechanic is also in the business of making payday loans…


  • I subscribed to the Weekly Standard for a bit back in the 90's, thanks to a generous introductory offer. But then bailed, because subscribing was expensive. But now (you may have heard) the never-Trump conservative magazine is in peril, and Megan McArdle has some praise: The Weekly Standard may be teetering, but its anti-Trumpism is a model of standing firm on principle.

    In fact, ideological magazines always do better when their party is out of power and readers are fired up with outrage. But even if it’s true that the Weekly Standard’s troubles reflect the way Trump has divided the movement, there’s a more appropriate reaction than solemn finger-wagging about the true nature of conservatism. Instead, spare a moment to admire how many of the movement’s leading intellectuals held their ground, even as a substantial portion of the conservative base moved away.

    Those conservatives opposed Trump early and often — earlier, in fact, than many liberals. When the Republican nomination was still contested, plenty of left-leaning public intellectuals argued that he was preferable to supposedly more extreme candidates such as Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) or Ted Cruz (R-Tex.). In fairness, many of those people later admitted that they’d been wrong, although many also implausibly tried to suggest that they’d been unaware of Trump’s character flaws when they praised him.

    At some point, you have to be satisfied merely with being right about everything, all the time.


  • Daniel J. Mitchell offers up his candidate for The World’s Most Depressing Tweet. And here 'tis:

    You'll recognize these counties by their geographical proximity to … guess where?

    The D.C. metropolitan region is unjustly rich because of everyone else who has figured out how to divert taxpayer money into their pockets. That includes disgusting examples of Democrat sleaze and Republican sleaze.

    I'm pretty sure I've made this point before, but: the people who deride "trickle-down economics" when objecting to policies that keep more money in the private sector never seem to mind the cash flowing to Our Federal Government that tends not to trickle down, but to stay right around the Washington D.C. area.


  • Our Google LFOD alert rang for a Providence Journal story from Rhode Island Poet Laureate Tina Cane: This 'toxic' year gives humanity a stark choice.

    As 2018 draws to a close, it seems appropriate to note that the Oxford Word of the Year is toxic. This didn’t come as a surprise to me, since I hear and read this word every day in news articles and commentary. An apt adjective for our current cultural climate, toxic is widely used to characterize anything from political discourse to types of femininity and masculinity. That toxic’s most common usage is no longer relegated to medical waste or that cheesy Britney Spears song may not shock most of us, but it should sadden all of us. And that might be a good thing, for sadness is actually a more productive emotion than the ones that have brought us here.

    You'd think the Poet Laureate could and should write at least some doggerel for the paper about this instead of turgid prose. But no. She quotes a poem, but it's not ever hers, it's Auden, the one with the line "We must love one another or die." And…

    It’s said that Auden, disillusioned by the horrors that unfolded, changed the last line of his poem from We must love one another and die — a move which was effectively a commentary on the ineffectiveness of poetry to impact the state of the world. Still, Auden thought that this shift from “or” to “and” lacked rhetorical power and he removed the line altogether. When it was found years later in his drafts, Auden was convinced to include it as he had originally written it — perhaps because enough time had passed, perhaps because he wanted to preserve the poem’s integrity in accordance with his intention, rather than with the world’s ugly reality.

    I prefer the “or,” even if the “and” is true. Either way, “We must love one another or die” is a directive for our times — an antidote to the toxic tone we’ve managed to cultivate. It brings to mind New Hampshire’s state motto, “Live free or die,” in which Gen. John Stark, who led a charge in the Battle of Bunker Hill, captures America’s revolutionary spirit of independence. Times have changed, but America is still a democracy.

    We are free to decide how we treat one another — regardless of our persuasions — and we should exercise our freedom responsibly and with humanity. We can choose love, as Auden would advise, if we wish to. While love as a solution may sound simplistic, it’s a lot harder than it seems. Perhaps, we can start by putting toxic back in its box and by refusing to take the easy — angry — way out. Maybe then, next year’s Word of the Year can be something closer to respect or the gratitude emoji. That would be a mark of real independence.

    You know, I'm trying to find something to disagree with here, and … failing.


  • But on a lighter note, Seacoast Online gets spooky on us: 'Ghost Ship' docked at state pier. In Portsmouth, NH!

    The stealth and “supercapivating” [sic] water craft “Ghost Ship” has a new home on the state pier, next to the Piscataqua River, where it’s been docked for marketing purposes, explained Greg Sancoff, Juliet Marine Systems chief executive officer, who self-funded the Ghost Ship project.

    The ship has been described as being like a helicopter on water because it travels across water like a boat, but through a tunnel of gas below the surface. The significance of the technology means Ghost Ship moves through a gas instead of water, which has 900 times more drag.

    It looks very cool:

    And, for a bonus:

    On the back of Ghost Ship its home port is noted as Portsmouth, N.H. Over the rear door is the state’s slogan, “Live Free or Die.”


Last Modified 2018-12-20 6:54 AM EST